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15 December, 2012

Animo, gente, but say a prayer too!

Hey Gente,

I want to play catch-up with you, fill you in all the writing, poetry, project stuff happening lately and from the last year, but my heart is a bit heavy. Just read, or watch your news.

I won't get political, nor too sentimental, but what I will do is keep a chin up in honor of those children and those educators who lost their lives in Newtown, CT and anywhere in the world.

I post this poem in Facebook just a few minutes ago, so I thought I would do the same here:

I Teach

I wrote until
the chalkboard
clear and white,


lockers unfolded
out of cabinets,

no tiza dust,
but erasable markers,
shinny boards that I
close my eyes in front of.

I hold my breathe right
before the first bell rings,
and every morning
I run all sorts of thoughts

and I know.

I teach because the money
is a hot meal, nothing more,
I teach because I can see
in their faces,

I teach because they want to be here,
I teach because they hate being here
and there’s no place else.
I teach because I let them feel
at home
and sometimes the kids,
they ask if they can spend
the night in the classroom.

I smile.

I provide cots for the ones
that can’t sleep at home; with
a pillow and matching sheets.
I’m a taxi service when it gets too late.
I’m a social worker when the school nurse
forgets the hearing aid paperwork . . .
I teach because the world
does not provide for an
A,B,C,D bubble life.
I teach because I hated teachers
and I am sick of hating them.

I teach to be humble.

I teach because I want them
to remember their own fathers
and quit slipping and calling me “Apa”.
Sometimes they hug me afterwards.

I teach for the laughter. I see the tears
and I can recognize
the hearts of children,
at least today.

Today is the only thing I control.


I will:

ice a few busted lips,
glue a shoe sole,
fix a spiral notebook,
contain a seizure,

collect twelve love notes
and correct the spelling,

organize three games of
kickball, soccer and
red light/green light,
make the boys shake
after a fair fight,

dig in the closet for extra
clothes after someone’s accident,
make a rainbow and speak of magical
refractions and sunlight,
and the kids, yeah, they
will only hear me say
rainbow, blah, blah, blah
magical blah, blah, blah, light,

use diplomacy while playing UNO,
introduce deodorant,
provide at least four lunches,
repair two sets of  glasses,
burn all the paperwork,

defend a child from a drunk parent,
stop a bus with a single hand,
control the weather with
my imagination,
bridge a nose bleed,

wish, then, shake the shit
out of that hooker/momma
when I need her Gustavo
in my Math tutorials,

make all the kids live to read,
convince eight pairs of parents
from Lantern Village that “camping”
is good for their hijitos


combat a system that wants
to swallow my kids whole.

I save children everyday,
every time I open my door.

So tell me,

just what the hell do you do?

© 2010 Lupe Mendez 

If you have children, hug them tighter. If you talk to your kid's teacher, thank them. If you are friends with a teacher, tell them they are doing a good job. Its an amazing profession. Then call home and talk to your loved ones. 

06 December, 2012

Back with a Bang and a Holiday Blog Tour !!!

Ok Gente, so I KNOW its been a while - (SORRY, but I got into grad school and this one site had to suffer, gonna fix that), but its a great time to get something going!!!

As of now, consider this site back up and running!!!

WHAT A WAY TO START!!  So if you read last year's blog post :
then you know what time it is!!

This year, the lovely Icess Fernandez has done it again, organizing well over 15 to 20 bloggers to present to you written works dealing with Holidays. I am honored to be the first one up to get the party started. She has done a knock out job,  getting things going and its great to have a second chance to share some time and writing.

So sit back, get a cup of chocolate and enjoy this first read.

Last year I did a story about my family for Christmas, so this year, I wanted to get back to basics and do what I do best, poetry. This piece is still my family, but instead of it in Galveston, Its in Jalisco.

The piece should speak for itself.

Christmas Night, by Candle Light
It is a Basilica night my dear,
so bring your velitas.
Bring your capirotara.
Bring your old iniquities
and your transgressions.
It is a night by the Catedral,
cercas del Teatro Degollado
and the lights are glowing
and the embers are ripe.
I owe you a night.
I tell you about how people
in these pueblitos believe far
beyond what they can not read.
They spit on stones and
wield corn stocks like flag staffs,
pray from some auditory function
of memory with more feeling and
more faith than I could ever embody.
Somos peregrinos today.
And we walk under the stars,
stars so bright in the mountains
and the serros you can imagine
los reyes magos trying to catch up
to you in the moon light.
Wait for them, amor.
Did you bring your gift?
Did you remember what it is
you wanted to pray for?
Did you remember to shake off
that instant wish for your heart.
I know you forgot.
I forget to as well.
But my tatarabuelo didn’t.
He shuffles around and says
that in the morning,
the sun will be so sabroso
when it hits our faces.
Toma el retrato – take the picture
of your primita as you walk
in the moonlight.
She will need your prayers.
Write one on the back of
the photo and pin it to
the wall when you finish
your pilgrimage.
Diosito will wait for you.
He will take away the poison
in her piernita, in her little leg
and she will sing again. And this will be
how you enter the Basilica.
On your knees.
The cobblestone will greet
your piety and the people
assembled will be your warmth.
Until you hear
the chords of the chorus,
you hear the echo of babies
and hearts in the fire,
in the lights on the wreath,
look up then, mijito and see
who is around you.
They have heavy hearts
like you,
ready to release from such a trek.
Don’t fret, amor,
we can walk together
we can see more than a thousand,
thousand lights at the
tips of our corneas,
blur and split,
bend and entrance,
weave and flutter,
like a bewildered heart,
like a overfilled cup,
like a boiling of vaporous flicker,
orange and bronze –
it is a wick or two,
a wax or twenty
lining up outside
the Cathedral halls
in Guadalajara,
assembling inside
the Basilica of San Juan
de Los lagos
and I am a single voice,
a pledging prayer,
a stubborn hope that wants
to see a little face walk around
and meet you, here in a year
and watch you comb her little
hair and sing carols, watching
Los peces en el rio, twinkle on a
Christmas night, by candle light.

By Lupe Mendez

Hope you guys enjoyed the piece! Please share it out and look for the next blogger on Dec. 8th, Gwendolyn Jerris, and her blog site, silence & honeysuckle. I can't wait to see what everyone is planning on posting.

I hope you and your's have an amazing Holiday season and warmest wishes to all of you!!